Do Women Like Role Playing Online?

from the uh...-what? dept

For years, the question of what sorts of video games will attract women gets debated over and over again. Recently, the accepted wisdom was that “social” games like the Sims Online and There were going to be the place for the female half of the species. Of course, recent evidence has suggested that people aren’t signing up for the Sims Online (male or female) and those that are, have found it “boring”. So, it’s a bit odd to see the Guardian write an article that simply assumes that women like these types of games, based on a few anecdotal stories. In the end, the fact is that everyone is different. Some women like games (both online and off) as do some men. I think it’s tough to try to design anything that is going to appeal to an entire gender.

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Comments on “Do Women Like Role Playing Online?”

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dorpus says:

More fundamentally,

do women like games of any kind? In my experience, the typical woman finds the notion of sitting down to play any kind of game “boring”. To them, shopping or talking to people is their “game”.

While we’re on the Sims Online topic, Maxis also released Simcity 4, which was billed as the online version where you get to play with other players. The game has been out for a month and the online features are still “under construction”. My guess is that Maxis management is having endless meetings debating what to put online and whether to charge for it.

thecaptain says:

Re: More fundamentally,

That’s a pretty sexist attitude. Your experience seems to be rather shallow.

I’m willing to lay money down you’re single right?

Sure, there are SOME women who fit that oft-repeated stereotype but it has been my experience that many women are a lot more proficient than guys at computers in general and that more women then you think enjoy computer games.

My fiancee enjoys RPGs quite a bit and we have a blast doing multiplayer sessions on the lan now and again. I have 2 female friends who kick *ss on Unreal Tournament.

Funny tho…THEIR biggest complaint is guys who assume they are only interested in shopping and “talking” …

dorpus says:

Re: Re: More fundamentally,

I am engaged now, and have had more than one offer of marriage before by other women.

I have known my share of modern women who got upset when I offered to pay their dinner. Even now, my fiancee gets upset when I offer to pay for any of her expenses, because of some stupid “pride” thing.

And I still say that the women I have known were not into games; they thought it was “sexist” of me to impose masculine interests on women, and I should be more “considerate” of their feelings. Or perhaps it was that they knew I would beat them and they didn’t want to feel stupid.

But yeah, if you go out with the kind of women you might meet at a star trek convention, then your experience might be different. I stay away from the standard nerd hobbies (star trek, anime, RPG) — who needs to be around smelly orcs in velcro shoes?

tric says:

Re: Re: Re: More fundamentally,

dorpus, isn’t offering to pay a “stupid pride thing”? And I think you’ve got a bigger problem than you know if the woman who’s going to marry you misinterprets your intention and gets mad when you offer to pay. A first date is one thing but this chick ought to know you better.
As to the original question: I think your problem is calling these people “typical” women. Of course women play games — unless you don’t consider anything played before the computer was invented a “game”.
I’m a 39 year old woman and I’ve been playing computer games since 1987 (not since the dawn of time, but long enough to have been around the block a couple of times). It’s true that I’m in the minority but there are plenty of us out there. Some of us like the “male-oriented” games, others don’t, but I think we all take offense at what passes for “female-oriented”: things that are pink or involve shopping or talking 😉 or picking out a boyfriend. (On the other hand, I’m at a loss to explain the huge success of Survivor and Bachelor with both male and female audiences.)
I do believe that women and men approach playing in different ways, but it remains to be seen how a game can appeal to the way many women play. For instance, I love to blow off the head of an opponent with a sniper rifle as much as my husband does, but I can’t endlessly play a fighter game to get the ultimate high score, and I don’t know many women who would want to. I don’t think most women players are obsessive *in that way*. Once I’ve finished a game with a storyline I rarely care to go back and replay it, either with another character or at another difficulty level. I never find Easter eggs because I don’t sit around and futz with the controls just to see what happens (my 2 year old son does, though, and has found more than I have).
Many women are probably out there but not where you’ll see them. I don’t like the super-aggressiveness and rudeness I’ve encountered in online game rooms like the Zone, so you won’t see me there.(BTW, I’m not saying most men are super-aggressive and rude, just a lot that I’ve encountered online.)
Most of all, though, I don’t care if anyone develops a game for me as a woman, I just want to see all the bouncing Z-cup boobs that are thrown in for the prepubescent sex-starved boys that are the main market. I don’t believe that this is the social evil that many think it is, it’s just a tiresome turnoff. To appeal to the female market most developers could just leave out the details that make it clear they don’t give a shit whether women play or not.

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